Dept. of Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice

Undergraduate Programs of Study




From the days of scholars like Margaret Mead, Bronislaw Malinowski, and Ruth Benedict right up to the present, anthropology has remained a popular field of inquiry; and it continues to offer exciting opportunities for study.

With its comparative approach to human societies and cultures and their development and change, anthropology provides valuable insights into humankind's past and present. The discipline encompasses a wide area, including archaeology, cultural anthropology, ethnology, physical anthropology, forensic anthropology, philosophical anthropology, and social anthropology. Students who pursue a minor in anthropology are exposed to the basics of anthropological theory and learn to apply its methodologies of analysis and research to complex research problems.


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Criminal Justice

major, minor

Are you interested in learning about the American criminal justice system? Are you interested in how the legislature, law enforcement, judicial, and correctional systems work together to preserve justice in America?

A major in criminal justice at Benedictine can prepare you to work in any branch of the criminal justice system. Criminal justice students benefit from the University's proximity to downtown Chicago, a city known internationally for its history of crime syndicates and political corruption, as well as notorious criminal figures like Al Capone and Bugs Moran. Students learn about the field of criminology as a foundation for their study of police systems, civil and criminal courts, and correctional systems, while also gaining a breadth of knowledge about other important social science disciplines (sociology, psychology, economics, and political science/anthropology). They acquire both research and practical skills from instructors with extensive real world experience, including police chiefs, internal affairs officers, probation officers, attorneys, and professors.

Graduates of the Criminal Justice program have been successful in gaining admission to law school, pursuing careers in local, federal, and state law enforcement, and finding employment in probation and parole. Our faculty are devoted to working with each student in guiding them through their academic career and toward a successful professional career.


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Life Span Services


The Department's minor in Life Span Services offers students opportunities to engage in multidisciplinary study of the cultural, psychological, and sociological forces that have an impact on the aging process in the United States. The minor also provides a knowledge base which will provide students with introductory skills necessary for them to work effectively with older adults, their families, and caregivers.

Students often elect to supplement their major with the Life Span Services minor in order to prepare them for careers in which their work with older adults intersects with matters of healthcare, counseling, public policy, and law. In many cases, Life Span Services minors pursue further graduate studies in gerontology and related disciplines.

Grandmother reading to granddaughter

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major, minor

The scientific study of understanding people, with all of their complex behaviors and mental processes, the discipline of psychology examines behavior that is evil at one extreme and altruistic at the other, attempting to explain both the serial killer and the saint. What environmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors decide which direction a baby will someday go? At the same time, those who study psychology ask how it can be used to solve human problems, both on an individual level ("know thyself") and on a global level.

A psychology major offers excellent preparation for a wide range of careers. Graduates may run a group home, work for an organization that supervises individuals with emotional disabilities, or pursue careers in human resources or employment counseling. Students are also well prepared for jobs in public affairs, administrative support, business, sales, and service industries.

Psychology majors gain practical experience in clinical and experimental laboratories and have the opportunity to conduct research, either on their own or in collaboration with faculty members. Students also have the option to supplement the major with one of our interdisciplinary programs in pre-physical therapy and pre-occupational therapy.

Phrenological Head

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Social Work


Benedictine's minor program in Social Work enables interested undergraduate students to study individual development and behavior across the life span as well as to understand the interactions among families, groups, and communities.

Program coursework in the Social Work minor provides a curriculum that prepares students for entry-level positions in the fields of mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, and substance abuse, in addition to offering excellent preparation for graduate study in social work. The curriculum also includes a required field experience, allowing minors to explore, in a practical, supervised environment, the vast array of professional possibilities in the field of social work.


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Since Auguste Comte coined the term in the early nineteenth century, sociology has been one of the most popular majors on university campuses. With an emphasis on the study of human societies, sociology covers a wide area including politics, religion, the economy, the legal system, the family, social work, and folklore.

Taking a cross-cultural perspective, students learn about how people organize themselves and behave in society. You will study such topics as human culture; the interaction between and within groups; the creation, evolution, and transmission of group norms; and the primary factors that hold groups together and/or weaken them. You will also learn the statistical and research methods used by professional sociologists, as well as gain exposure to the fundamentals of the other social sciences (psychology and economics).

Sociology is available as either a major or a minor at Benedictine. Majors complete a six-course "department core" and then select one of two concentrations: sociology or criminal justice.

Prof. Jon Lewis teaches a class

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